Mid-Season Survey Results

The All-Star game is fast approaching, the trade deadline is within sight, and the playoff push is not in the far too distant future. The 2020 season is flying by and before we know it, we’ll be entering Year #10 of MLB Pro.

I wanted to take a moment to share all the survey questions and comments that have been given over the past few weeks. I will try to outline my initial feelings to them here.

1) What might you like to see changed that is already part of the league?

  • The International Free-Agent system was brought up a few times between here and question #3. OOTP is a bit limiting with this system, there is no other way to put it. The game currently has two options, our current system (hard-cap) and the old soft-cap with restrictions on the following year. There is no current way to implement in-game the system of trading for additional space. In addition, there is no way to edit signings as I cannot place players into the international complex of a team. If future versions of OOTP implement a more realistic/better managed system, by all means, it will be something we adopt and move towards. For now though, I think it’s a struggle to change the system much. As always, happy to further monitor this one. I had attempted to build a system this past off-season, I just don’t think it makes sense to overhaul what we do with the limits the game has in place.
  • As far as the trade restrictions/rules go, I personally remain a firm believer in the changes we made being positive and needed changes. Do I feel Seattle was given a benefit of the trade? No. Let’s remember that the Cabanas trade happened last season and the rule change did not come until after this season started. Yes, are a fantasy league, but a fantasy league that prides itself on realism and has always tried to make as much as possible, well, realistic. As far as it being a bad look? I personally do not see it that way, but that’s merely my opinion. If we start to see 7, 8, 9, 10 players being shipped away in a single-side of MLB deals, yes, we can revisit things here. But until then, I just do not see changes to this coming.
  • Players on waivers being traded: Not something that will be change during this season. I would be interested to know how people feel about though.
  • Draft pick trading: A combination of factors at play with this one. First off, realism. Not a thing in the current CBA, which is a big reason it’s not here. The change this past off-season to not allow recently drafted players to be traded is also CBA related. Other limits/factors that hinder things is in real-life scouts know of the future draft class and what it will look like (to some degree), whereas here, you do not. A team trades a future pick only to learn it’s a great draft…or an awful trade, leads to problems that are simply avoided by not trading a player for the 4 or so months that sit between the draft and the end of the season.

2) What might you like to see added that is not part of the league?

  • Strong rule set for WDL, age range/level range: One dilemma that pops up with limiting player selection by age or league level is the discrepancy of players and team management styles. Some teams let OOTP handle minor-league systems and OOTP might be more apt to promote young guys quicker than a human GM. A 23 year-old college senior who was hurt in his first pro season could be excluded when he might be the type of player a team is hoping to groom at a rapid pace.

    We had done ample testing in the past and there were no consequences of development while struggling in the WDL.

    With the server change, all of our old posts detailing the WDL are gone. I’ll have to dive in and look for those on the Way Back Machine. I’m open to being more detailed with what teams should try and do. But going as far to put actual numbers of something, I’m not sure on that quite yet.
  • Minor League Spring Training: No comment on this as of now.
  • Spring Instructs/2nd “WDL” type league: Unlikely. The requests for a WDL were strong a couple of seasons ago as a way to keep up off-season activity. 2017 people were excited and eager to manage and watch over this. I would say this past season getting people to do so is becoming harder and harder. Adding even more leagues and more managing being required is not something I am looking to add as of now.
  • World Baseball Classic: I’m intrigued by this idea. Whether annually or bi-annual, I think something like this could be a fun idea.

3) Are there any rule changes/ideas you would like to see implemented? If so, please explain the rule and your idea for the change or new rule.

  • The Honor System: We have reminded everyone of the honor system when it comes to voting for the All-Star game and I think it’s worked so far. We can continue to remind people of this at the end of the season. I think, for the most part, things have not been a problem. In addition, I have asked Dave at Stats+ to create a selectable option where I could one-click remove the ability to vote for players from your own team. There do remain instances where it makes sense to vote for your own players who are deserving and as long as we keep things that way, I think we’re on the right track.
  • The NL DH: I think we are best to keep this away until the next MLB/MLBPA CBA is ratified. If they do not go to the DH, we will not. if they do adopt the DH, I would suggest we do as well, but we can revisit that at a later point in time.

4) Anything else that doesn’t fit into the above that you want to share, share it here!

  • Free-Agency/Free-Agent Classes: Unfortunately this is not a simple “fix” to this situation. The early days of locking up every player to team friendly contracts kept players away from the open market, it kept teams with plenty of money to sign anyone else needed, and free-agents to be are often traded and signed before ever hitting the open market.

    The contract extension rules of a few years ago will take time to see things change. But over time, more player friendly deals will be reached, fewer team friendly deals will lead to teams spending more, and having less and less to lock players up early.
  • Related to the above, the change this past off-season that limited the amount of money a team could go into the red financially also should have positive results with players and their ability to some day hit the open market.
  • Another area that I think at times can over overlooked at times and it plays a role in money being spent on players is player development. It should not be overlooked IMO. Spending more here is another way to take money away from players on current deals and could see more players hitting the open market.

5) Shared via PM and I’m not sure where to put it…

  • Draft pick negotiation: There was a PM suggesting we revisit turning on draft pick negotiations. In 2013, GM’s at the time voted against this in what was a pretty evenly split decision. I’m on the fence on this topic. I think there is good reason to do so, but also understand the reasons not to. I think there could be a few systems that blend the two.

    For example, a system could be added where picks from Rounds 1 through X are assigned slot values, each teams picks from those rounds are added up and that “value” is assigned as a misc. expense in-game. This adds the financial implications while not the risk of losing players over OOTP negotiations.

If anything else comes to mind that you want me to consider prior to the 2020-2021 off-season, just PM me and let me know.

If there are comments or questions on the above, feel free to PM me or have discussions in the #ruleschannel.

Thank you again to all that shared your thoughts on the form or via PM.

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